Your new Alexa device has a multitude of uses around your home. One of the most popular is connecting her to your TV in order to control it. The process to accomplish this task is not difficult, but without a good tutorial, it can be confusing. We are here to take the frustration out of tech for you, and have come up with simple steps to help you start using Alexa with your TV tonight.
The first set of instructions will help you connect your cable or satellite-powered television to Alexa while the second set will show you how to use Alexa with Fire TV or a Fire TV Stick.
How to Connect Alexa to a Cable or Satellite-Powered TV
Using your Echo, Dot or any other Alexa-enabled device, there are several television providers you can control, including Frontier, Fios, TiVo, Dish and Optic Hub. You’ll be able to do this with ease, using nothing but your voice. To be able to do this, we are going to have to link your Alexa device to the cable box.
- First, open your Alexa app on your phone or tablet.
- On the left-hand side menu, choose “Music, Video and Books”.
- Find your cable-TV provider on the list and tap it.
- If the app now asks you to enable an “Alexa skill” from your provider, simply follow the easy steps outlined for you in the Alexa app. (Not all providers will require this step)
- Next you will need to choose “Manage and Link Devices” on your screen.
- Select “Link a Device” If you already have any type of device linked, you’ll need to tap “Link Another Device”.
- Choose whichever satellite or cable box you want Alexa to control.
- Press “Continue.”
- Now you’re going to select the Alexa device you want to control the TV with. Keep in mind that all Alexa hardware can only control one television at a time and must be in the room with the TV set you wish to use.
- Once the proper Alexa device has been chosen, just scroll down and hit the “Link Devices” button. Voila! You should now be able to control your TV using your Alexa device!
Once you have paired Alexa with your cable or satellite TV, there are many different things you can ask her to do. For instance, tell Alexa to go to a specific channel, open up your DVR or perform searches for various types of movies and programs. You can search by genre, titles of shows, your favorite actress and so on. Additionally, Alexa can search more generic terms like “child-friendly movies.”
How to Connect Alexa to a Fire TV or Fire TV Stick
- Turn on your TV and change your input to reflect your Fire TV or the Fire TV Stick. The Fire TV home page will now be displayed on your screen.
- Hold down the microphone button that came with the Fire TV device, which will make a blue line appear across the top of your TV screen.
- Speak your channel or show request out loud.
Note: When you are using your remote control, you do not have to say “Alexa” before making your inquiry of her.
If you do not use one of the cable providers listed above, you can still use Alexa to control your TV by purchasing a Logitech Harmony universal remote. Here is a quick rundown on how to pair these devices:
- Open the Alexa app and then click the menu at the top left (three lines).
- Choose “Smart Home” from the menu that displays.
- Scroll down to where it says “Your Smart Home Skills” and then select “Get More Smart Home Skills”.
- On the next screen, look for “Harmony” and enable that skill.
- Next, log into your Logitech Harmony account from the app you are currently using.
- Choose which device (television and/or provider) you wish to control using Alexa. At this point, you can also decide which words you want to use to launch this activity.
- Now, you can narrow down which TV stations in particular you would like Alexa to control if you wish. This way, you’ll be able to simply say “Alexa, turn on Nickelodeon” and she will do so automatically.
- When you are finished, be SURE to click the “Link Account” button to finish connecting the Harmony remote with your Alexa device.
You now should be able to control any TV in your home with your Alexa device(s), no matter what provider you are using to watch your favorite programs. What other things are you using Alexa to help you with in your everyday life? Have you discovered the many ways she can make your life much easier and more organized? We will be bringing you more articles in the near future with other tips and tricks for your Alexa (and other) devices. What would you like to see? Leave us a comment and let us know.